Need a quick and easy craft for a kid’s (or senior citizen’s) winter holiday party? You are not alone!
This is one of those totally random things- I was in the craft store yesterday and I overheard a woman asking the sales clerk about crafts for a pre-kindergarten party. Well, the clerk had nothing to offer, and I’m a “class-A” busybody SO…
This is the craft I’m doing with my daughter’s Pre-K class- but it would be good for 2 year olds up through Kindergartners, I guess. However, I’m remembering my days as a Nursing Home Activites Director, and YES, I did this craft with my lucid seniors. It’s fun, and not too juvenile for grown-up folks.
You don’t even need a step-by-step tutorial for this- it’s just too easy. BUT- you might want some of these handy-tips and tricks to make your craft party go more smoothly.
Always buy WAY more supplies than you need. The teachers will take the extra if you don’t want them, and it would be horrible to be short of supplies.
- Buy a variety of bells. Colors, textures, shapes and sounds all appeal to young children, and encourage cognition in older folks. Ask them which bells sound higher or lower, and which colors sound best to them! (Yeah, I know colors don’t have sound, but it’s just TOO tempting to ask!)
- Buy nice, fuzzy chenielle stems (pipecleaners) in long, 12-inch lengths. The participants can decide if they want to fashion a handle, a loop, or make a bracelet for it. Have a nice selection of colors available. Nobody says you can have orange and purple during December!
- Be success-oriented. This means make sure that the bells aren’t so small that you can’t fit the pipe-cleaners/cheneille stems through the little stringing holes. DON”T buy the teeny-tiny ones. They are just too tempting to stick up one’s nose. (Don’t ask.)
- Set liits. Tell the kids that they can only string 5 or 7 onto their stem. It’s good practice counting, too.
- Set up different baskets. You don’t want an angry toddler mob on your hands, so divide the class into sub-groups and give them their own baskets of supplies. Most classrooms are set up with the tables in groups of 6 or 8, so the teacher can help you divvy up your stash to spread around. If you are in a nursing home or hospital setting, just set up different stations at the tables.
SO! Now you’ve got your room filled with excitable, jiggling, jingling kiddos! (Or kids at heart.) What next?
Music, of course! The following suggestions keep in mind that this is an educational/enriching experience, too. The focus is on auditiory discrimination & responding to non-verbal cues. These are important skills for kids to develop and senior citizens to keep!
- Sing “Jingle Bell Rock”- if you have recorded music, hit “pause” periodically, so the participants have to LISTEN and STOP when the music does.
- Sing “Jingle Bells” – just sing it without music, but vary the tempo and the volume. Have the them match YOUR speed and tone.
- Try “Silver Bells”- you know the part right after you sing “Silver Bells….” and theres a 3 beat rest? Have them SING during the vocal part, and ring their bells 3 times during the beat. They’ll need to keep their eyes on YOU to get the non-verbal cue.
If this is too advanced for you to manage, or you are out a time, a quick chorus of “Jingle Bells” will usually do the trick. Have fun, and remember that this will be the highlight of someones’ day!
Any other ideas to share?
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